Monday, January 18, 2010

Books read 2008

I decided to count down the previous years of Books Read lists for you.  I've been keeping a list of books I read each year since 2004, but I've never posted the lists before.  So, here's 2008 for you:

1. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by: Syrie James
Jeff's sister gave this book to me for Christmas.  She is a children's librarian and reads hundreds of books every year...thousands?  Anyway, I really loved this book!  It was a fictional tale of Jane Austen's life and how her novels came to be.  If you are a Jane Austen fan, you will love this book.

2. Dear John by: Nicholas Sparks
This was a pretty good read.  However, I recently saw the movie trailer for the movie they are basing on this book and it looked nothing like what I remembered this being about.  So, either I don't remember this book or the movie is a loose interpretation.

3. To Become One by: Chris Seay
This book was a gift from my sister and I really enjoyed it.  It was written by a relatively newly wed guy as opposed to most of the other marriage books I had read.  It was funny, relevant, and challenging.  I can't say it was foundational or shaping in our marriage but I would recommend it for someone who isn't a huge reader but would like to grow in their marriage.

4. The Princess and the Goblin by: George MacDonald
Such a great fairy tale!  I love this classic story and I love how MacDonald tells it.  He is very C.S. Lewis in his ability to entertain adults with smart, morally challenging tales.

5.  Return of the Prodigal Son by: Henri Nouwen
What an amazing book!  I read this book twice and it was so convicting and freeing.  Nouwen is one of my favorite writers and this might be my favorite book of his that I've read.  This is a pretty quick read, but don't mistake the length for lack of content... it is a heavy book, but simply heavy - which is why I think he is such a fantastic writer.  Not many people can approach these weighty matters and yet make it something true and yet digestible if that make sense.

6.  Love & Respect by: Emmerson Eggerichs
This was a really challenging and shaping book for me.  It was a tough read for me during our first year of marriage, but it really helped me understand Jeff's needs better and how I can better respond to those for both of our sakes.  This is a great book, but it is not easy reading.

7.  True Believer by: Nicholas Sparks
I don't remember being on such a Sparks kick last year, but apparently I was.  I also don't remember anything about this book and had to go back and read the synopsis.  And even after that the plot sounds like that other book of his I read last

8. At First Sight by: Nicholas Sparks
This is apparently the sequel to the previous book.  But I only remembered that by looking back at the synopsis - and then I still couldn't remember how it ended.  I enjoy his books while I'm reading them and won't remember them until the movie comes out I guess.

9. Angels and Demons by: Dan Brown
He may patronize or even vilify the church in his novels but by geeze does he write some entertaining fiction!  If you can consider his writing fiction - which is what it is - then I think you can enjoy yourself some Dan Brown.

10. The Shack by: William Young
It took me a while to decide that I liked this book.  But then I really liked it.  This is definitely a book that sticks with you and I have continued to think of it randomly even though it has been over 18 months since I read this book.

11. What was Lost by: Catherine O'Flynn
 This book is about the disappearance of a little girl and then fast forwards 20 years to show the effects of her disappearance on those involved.  This was a really entertaining book, haunting at times, funny and witty with really great character development.  I still think about this book too.

12.  Can you Keep a Secret by: Sophie Kinsella
I read this on a plane to somewhere and it was a great plane book.  It was entertaining enough that I didn't want to put it down.  The characters are pretty hyperbolic in their stereotypes, but it was a funny, feel good kind of love story.

13. Something Borrowed by: Emily Giffin
I happened across this book in a second hand bookstore and thought the plot sounded interesting enough.  This started my Emily Giffin obsession and I continued to read every book she had ever written.  This has been by far my favorite chic lit series that I have read.

14. Something Blue by: Emily Giffin
This is the sequelish to the previous book.  I say ish because it elaborates on the previous story by telling it from another character's point of view.  If you fall in love or hate with the characters in the first book, then keep reading because it only gets better.

15. Baby Proof by: Emily Giffin
This is a whole new story with new characters to love... and I did.  I totally fell in love with this couple's love, separation, divorce angst.  I've read a few chic lit baby books and this one is definitely different.

16. Love the One You're With by: Emily Giffin
I remember expecting more out of this book but it was still a pretty good read.  It's like the movie you should have waited until it hit Red Box, but wasn't a total waste of 2 hours.  Or the week it took me to read this book.

17. Chasing Fireflies by: Charles Martin
It took me 100 pages to really get into this book, but once I did I really enjoyed it.  I didn't even mind the library fine just so I could finish the last 50 pages.  This is a great redemption story with all the elements of love, forgiveness, murder, mystery and suspense.  I think this is considered Christian Fiction and as such I thought it was as really well sculpted story, like maybe it had to be true.

18. Three Weeks with My Brother by: Nicholas Sparks
While I appreciated the change in pace from Sparks, this was actually a true story about him and his brother, I kept waiting for the good part.  I don't remember there really being one, so maybe I'll stick to the predictable romances from now on.

19. Same Kind of Different as Me by: Ron Hall
This was my favorite book in 2008!  I've told most people I know that love to read about this book.  It is so fantastic and made even more fantastic by actually being a true story.  I don't want to spoil anything about this book, but I will say that I cried in the car for about 7 minutes while reading this (don't worry, Jeff was driving).

20. Twilight by: Stephenie Meyer
After mocking Chelsea and others who were obsessed with these books I got sucked into the vampire vortex too and totally loved it!  I think I read the first book in three days or less, good thing I went ahead and ordered all 4 because I was hooked after page 43...okay, 13

21. New Moon by: Stephenie Meyer
I didn't like this book as much as the others, but maybe because I was always Team Edward... sorry Jacob.

22. One Year Bible New Living Translation
I had never read this translation before and really enjoyed it.  I have done several different 1 year reading plans and really liked having my Bible be the plan, it really helped me keep up.  If you are trying to read though the Bible in one year and might need some help staying on track you should totally invest in this, it is a great resource.

So - that was 2008 in books.  Next up, 2007... it will be interesting to see how many of these books I can actually remember reading?


  1. Emily Giffin has a new book coming out in May! I love her books too.

  2. Glad you liked the Jane Austen book. I'll have to add it to my list now that I'm reading grown-up books!

  3. i didn't want to like 'the shack' either, mostly because it was, like, all the rage...but i finally did, and it made me feel so loved. not so much the human part, but more the relationship between the members of the trinity. i thought it was beautiful and wish i had written it. :)

    i feel like i've read 'true believer' -- is that the one where some girl is in town to take care of her grandma or something like that and, naturally, falls in love with some dude?

  4. Hey, that's so funny - my mom just gave me the Lost Memiors of Jane Austen and I'm reading it now. Pretty good so far! Your list is enviable...not fluffed up with short mystery novels like mine. :-)

  5. Hi! I'm delighted that you emjoyed my novel, "The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen." It was truly a work of my heart... as is my most recent novel, "The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte."

    I hope you'll stop by my website at and leave me a message!
    All best,
    Syrie James

  6. Oops! I meant to write "enjoyed," not emjoyed! I should have previewed before posting... This is why I always spend so much time copy-editing my novels before they are published!
    Syrie James